Nicky Henderson has already highlighted Spirit Son as his chosen charity bet for the Cheltenham Festival and he seems the biggest threat to heavy favourite Cue Card in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Punters may be keen to take on the favourite in the Cheltenham Festival curtain raiser, particularly as three of the last 15 horses to have started at betting odds of 3/1 or shorter have tasted defeat in the race.
Dunguib was one of these heavy favourites to be beaten 12 months ago and Cue Card is this year’s leading fancy at 9/4.
Spirit Son is the next best in the Cheltenham betting at 6/1 and the quality of his form in his last three starts is primarily the reason why many believe he will present the stiffest test.
The speed of his jumping has been particularly noticeable in his three victories and none more so when easily brushing aside a field at Exeter last month.
Meanwhile, it could also be a telling factor that trainer Nicky Henderson only entered Spirit Son into one race at the Cheltenham Festival, despite the wide number of novice hurdles that will take place over the four days.
Soft ground at Cheltenham will be another plus for Spirit Son as this has been the underfoot condition for each of his three victories to date.
Some other statistics relating to previous Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winners also boost the chances of Spirit Son.
These include that ten of the last 11 winners had run inside 45 days of the start of the Festival and 12 of the last 14 winners had won on their final start before heading to Cheltenham.
Henderson also runs Sprinter Sacre in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and he can be backed at 8/1 in the Cheltenham betting.
A £25 stake on Spirit Son winning the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle would return £150. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.